Realtor referrals challenge consumer protection

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Justin da Rosa

Complaining about one bank’s Realtor referral program goes deeper than just cutting into potential broker business, according to one industry player.

“It’s a free economy and you can’t stop people from doing business; the problem is innocent homebuyers – often first time homebuyers – are being advised to go to the bank,” Ad Lakhanpal of Mortgage Alliance told “Bank penalties are never explained to clients and you need to be a chartered accountant to figure these penalties out. The issue here is consumer protection.

” One of the Big Six has come under fire, once again, for an email campaign targeting Realtors for client referrals.

That email, which was originally sent to B.C.-based real estate agents, was obtained by last week.

“From the standpoint of supporting someone and then finding out that they’re going over your head or trying to cut into your business it just doesn’t make sense,” Mark Fidgett of Verico NotaPennyDown, told at the time. “I hope as an industry we can respond as a group because one-offs just don’t do it; they won’t care.”

And several brokers are frustrated that the broker channel bank is actively pursuing leads and undercutting broker business.

“My office stopped using (that lender) a few years ago when their road reps figured out a way to manipulate their system and offered discounting far beyond what was available anywhere and high referral fees to Realtors,” George Christopoulos of The Mortgage Centre wrote on “This is a free market but why do business with a company that clearly does not treat the brokers on a level playing field?”

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